1.18.4 Knowledge Services

Manual Transmittal

March 23, 2022


(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.18.4, Distribution, Knowledge Services.

Material Changes

(1) IRM, Alternative Media Center (AMC) products, new items added to reflect taxpayer notice program, Multi language section, and how to order accessible notices for employees and Taxpayers. Added Large print to list of products requiring conversion.

(2) IRM, Alternative Media Center (AMC) services, added ITM course 70110 to curriculum. Added Accessibility helpline to list of AMC services.

(3) IRM, Alternative Media Center (AMC) Accessible taxpayer notices and letters, Updated taxpayer notices section to give guidance on how to obtain IRS notices in preferred alternative media format.

(4) Made editorial changes throughout to:

  • Update organizational information.

  • Follow required document formatting, including Internal Controls and Material Changes.

  • Reorganize the IRM after adding or removing any substantive content.

  • Adhere to Plain Writing requirements.

Effect on Other Documents

This update supersedes IRM 1.18.4 dated January 25, 2021.


Media and Publications (M&P) employees

Effective Date


Maria Cheeks
Director, Distribution
Wage & Investment

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: The manual describes policies and guidelines for Knowledge Services Branch employees. The overall knowledge services and systems management support for Media and Publications, Publishing and Distribution resides with the Wage & Investment (W&I) commissioner.

  2. Audience: This IRM is for the Knowledge Services employees who provide services to all Publishing and Distribution electronic systems and applications.

  3. Policy Owner: The Knowledge Services Branch is aligned in Wage & Investment (W&I)/Customer Assistance Relationships and Education (CARE)/Media and Publications (M&P)/Distribution (D).

  4. Program Owner: Knowledge Services Branch oversees and provides guidance for Publishing and Distribution electronic systems.


  1. Knowledge Services Branch (KS) provides knowledge services, business applications, and accessibility support for Publishing and Distribution programs. Knowledge Services Branch works closely with IRS Information Technology (IT) to make sure that all Publishing and Distribution electronic systems and applications function to provide the highest quality electronic products and services available.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Knowledge Services Branch includes three sections:

    • Business Requirements Systems Integration (BRSI)

    • Knowledge and Resources Management (KRM)

    • Alternative Media Center (AMC)


  1. We use the following acronyms throughout the IRM.

    Acronym Definition
    AMC Alternative Media Center
    BRSI Business Requirements Systems Integration
    CAPS Computer Assisted Publishing System
    CARE Customer Assistance Relationships and Education
    CAS Customer Accounts System
    COR Contracting Officer’s Representative
    CROPP Core Repository of Publishing Products
    ELITE Enterprise Logistics Information Technology
    ESN Electronic Status Notice
    ICPP Internal Content Publishing Process
    IPP Invoice Processing Platform
    KRM Knowledge and Resources Management
    KM Knowledge Management
    KSB Knowledge Services Branch
    M&P Media and Publications
    NDC National Distribution Center
    OSMS Order and Subscription Management Systems
    POC Point of Contact
    PTS Project Tracking System
    SME Subject-Matter Expert
    TIPS Technology Integration and Project Support
    UWR Unified Work Request
    WRMS Work Request Management System
    XML eXtensible Markup Language

Related Resources

  1. Available resources include:

    • Electronic Publishing website - http://www.publish.no.irs.gov

    • Forms, Instructions, and Publications - https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions

    • Internet Content Publishing Process - http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/wi_icp.htm

    • W&I/M&P Resource Center SharePoint - https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/wi-care-MP/default.aspx

    • SharePoint Email Address - wi.mp.sharepoint.admin@irs.gov

    • Accessible Forms and Publications - https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/accessible-irs-tax-products

    • Order and Subscription Management System - http://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/views/homePage.xhtml

Business Requirements Systems Integration (BRSI)

  1. BRSI section responsibilities include:

    • Information Technology Budgeting

    • Information Technology Application Development and Program Management

    • Computer Assisted Publishing System (CAPS) Management

    • Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE) Management

    • eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Support

    • Unified Work Requests (UWR) Submission Processing

    • IRS.gov Help Desk Comments Processing

Information Technology Budgeting

  1. BRSI analysts manage the IT budget for CAPS and ELITE in the Media and Publications (M&P) organization. In this capacity, they:

    1. Gather and monitor IT requirements

    2. Meet with management to review IT requirements and budget

    3. Work with appropriate IT organizations, Technology Integration and Project Support (TIPS), and M&P division technology advisors to ensure that IT requirements and budget needs are properly communicated and that funds are available for annual maintenance costs and new purchases

  2. They work closely with members of other organizations (e.g., Procurement, Accounting, IT) to resolve IT issues and problems using a combination of spreadsheets and online applications (including the IT Project Tracking System (PTS), Work Request Management System (WRMS), and the Invoice Processing Platform (IPP)) to ensure requirements are funded and requisitions are processed timely.

Information Technology Application Development and Program Management

  1. BRSI analysts provide IT solutions to serve the business needs of the M&P user community. They collaborate with business representatives to collect data and manage business, functional, and technical requirements. The analysts identify and resolve application issues and monitor the progress of all application development. BRSI analysts use the CAPS M&P IT Request and Work Request systems as communication tools to facilitate these tasks.

  2. BRSI analysts coordinate application software procurements for the M&P organization, including new software and services, and ongoing maintenance contracts for existing components. The analysts submit Unified Work Requests (UWR) detailing necessary updates to IT via WRMS for tracking and coordination purposes. BRSI analysts create requisitions in the Invoice Processing Platform (IPP) and prepare any required supporting documents.

  3. BRSI participates in and provides oversight for Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) activities for GSS-21 (CAPS-I) and ELITE. This includes facilitating meetings with various IT business units, CyberSecurity, and system development and test team members for the Security Assessment and Authorization certification process. BRSI ensures compliance with FISMA requirements that includes:

    1. Planning for system security

    2. Reviewing and monitoring the security controls on a regular basis

    3. Participating in system security testing annually

    4. Developing and maintaining action plans for remediation of security weaknesses

Computer Assisted Publishing System (CAPS) Management

  1. CAPS hosts locally-developed and Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software applications that support the design, composition, requisitioning, printing procurement, and job tracking for all IRS published products. These include the Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP), the Electronic Publishing website at http://www.publish.no.irs.gov, and "Page 1," which is a group of M&P intranet pages.

  2. BRSI analysts manage CAPS, including database and application software maintenance and administration. IT Enterprise Operations provides operational support for CAPS hardware and system infrastructure software (including installation, upgrade and maintenance, security administration, and monitoring).

  3. Contractors perform most of the technical work on CAPS. BRSI contracting officer’s representatives (CORs) provide support and oversight for the contract work performed.

Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE) Management

  1. BRSI analysts manage ELITE. Distribution employees use ELITE to manage distribution programs, forecast printed products, and manage National Distribution Center operations. Customer Accounts System (CAS) employees enter orders into a separate ELITE application.

  2. BRSI analysts work with other Distribution employees to develop ELITE requirements and manage its Total Information Processing Support Services contract. Contractors perform software maintenance and interpret requirements and program changes.

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Support

  1. Through contracted staff, BRSI provides XML authoring and/or composition support for a wide range of IRS published products, including tax forms instructions, taxpayer information publications, the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), the Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB), tax topics, and revenue procedures. This includes help desk support for XML authors Servicewide who use Arbortext Editor software.

Unified Work Requests (UWR) Submissions Processing

  1. BRSI analysts manage UWR submissions from M&P to the IT organization by:

    • Receiving, reviewing, and validating completeness of submissions

    • Providing assistance to M&P initiators

    • Pre-coordinating requests with IT and W&I TIPS

    • Submitting UWRs in WRMS

    • Tracking the status of submissions to ensure timely responses are provided to IT

Knowledge and Resources Management Section (KRM)

  1. KRM section responsibilities include:

    • M&P Knowledge Management Program

    • M&P Resource Center SharePoint Site Administration

    • IRS.gov Content Management

    • Media and Publications (M&P) Publishing and Distribution Content Management

Media and Publications (M&P) Knowledge Management Program

  1. M&P’s Knowledge Management program incorporates the principles of knowledge retention, knowledge management, and knowledge sharing into the M&P administrative and production framework to leverage, share, and transfer the wealth of knowledge of M&P employees to their successors, thus aiding the future success of the M&P mission.

  2. KRM designs, develops, tests, implements, and promotes tools to foster knowledge collection and sharing. The tools include:

    • After-action reviews

    • Knowledge and information-sharing templates

    • Publicly available and searchable knowledge repositories

    • Process maps and lessons learned articles

    • Other tools derived from private industry and federal government best practices

  3. KRM uses knowledge management expertise to provide M&P with tools to promote a knowledge-sharing environment and helps other M&P functions by:

    1. Facilitating after-action reviews

    2. Collecting lessons learned

    3. Interviewing management-selected current and departing employees

    4. Developing process maps

    5. Training new M&P employees on the tools and techniques of Knowledge Management (KM)

    6. Consulting on KM activities throughout the organization

    7. Researching and implementing other techniques as appropriate

  4. KRM solicits and analyzes submissions from M&P employees for knowledge-sharing topics, derives and drafts knowledge articles for sharing on the M&P knowledge management website, and provides expertise and assistance regarding social collaboration.

Media and Publication (M&P) Resource Center SharePoint Site Administration

  1. KRM section employees administer the M&P resource center SharePoint site at https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/wi-care-MP/default.aspx in collaboration with site administrators in M&P business units. This SharePoint site contains descriptive documents and references that M&P functions use in collaborative efforts throughout M&P and affords collaboration and repository functionality amongst all M&P functions. IT manages the SharePoint infrastructure (servers), provides governance policies and standards, and resolves application issues.

  2. KRM leads a team of SharePoint site administrators that includes one or more employees from the Distribution, Publishing, and Tax Forms and Publications functions of M&P. This team recommends and implements overall site policies and enforces adherence to IRS SharePoint and Web standards. Each site administrator manages their function’s sub-sites, Web content, and document libraries within their organizational and program boundaries, and the KRM site collection administrator retains responsibility for the M&P SharePoint site homepage and other cross-organizational M&P content.

  3. Administration responsibilities include:

    1. Create, populate, and maintain user groups

    2. Manage user access rights (e.g., granting and revoking user inclusion in policy groups during temporary assignments and revoking access rights for separated employees)

    3. Collect, analyze, and report on Web statistics

    4. Troubleshoot and resolve user issues and elevate to the IT Help Desk when appropriate

    5. Respond quickly to website outages and work with IT to restore Web access

    6. Analyze and respond to user requests for SharePoint objects, such as sub-sites, custom lists, and document libraries

    7. Probe and resolve broken hyperlinks

    8. Provide and control access to the DSTEST development and test environment

    9. Analyze, test, approve, and launch custom Web functionality

    10. Respond to inquiries directed to the team's e-mail box; *W&I Map SharePoint Admin at wi.mp.sharepoint.admin@irs.gov

    11. Apply and manage appropriate site features to address user business requirements (SharePoint site settings)

  4. Content responsibilities include:

    1. Solicit or develop fresh content for announcements on the M&P Resource Center homepage

    2. Develop and manage content for the main M&P site, collaborating with the Planning and Analysis branch of M&P

    3. Develop and manage content for the M&P Career Services site, collaborating with the employment specialists in the Strategic Planning and Analysis offices of each function

    4. Develop and manage content for specialized content on other M&P sub-sites that cross organizational boundaries

    5. Develop and maintain keyword searches for site collection

  5. The site collection administrator, a KRM section employee, also has other duties in addition to the content and administration duties listed earlier. Those additional duties include:

    1. Represents M&P on IRS SharePoint governance forums

    2. Serves as liaison to W&I SharePoint nonexecutive councils

    3. Maintains website collection registration

    4. Manages site collection quotas and obtains Web resources from IT as appropriate

    5. Maintains overall site design to preserve standardization, usability, and consistency throughout the organization

    6. Collects, analyzes, and reports on overall Web usage and other statistics

    7. Ensures that function site administrators have appropriate training in SharePoint and Section 508 accessibility issues and provides coaching and assistance

IRS.gov Content Management

  1. KRM analysts use a content management application to administer Web content on IRS.gov for Distribution at https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions in their roles. Working with creators/publishers and page stewards across the division, KRM analysts manage Distribution content to ensure the information is technically correct, remains current, and is updated timely or removed as appropriate. They also work with Online Services Web analysts and Content Area Administrators from other business units as needed to revise or remove content. Detailed guidelines, procedures, roles, and responsibilities for Wage & Investment (W&I) Internet content management are maintained in IRM 11.55.1, Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP) Management Document.

IRS.gov Help Desk Comments

  1. The Knowledge and Resources Management (KRM) section provides a point-of-contact (POC) for the Publishing and Distribution functions for questions relating to content pages on IRS.gov. A W&I POC listing is on W&I's Internal Content Publishing Process (ICPP) page at http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/wi_icp.htm.

  2. Any IRS.gov website user can submit an inquiry about the website by email, telephone call, or Web chat to the IRS.gov Help Desk (Help Desk). An inquiry can be a question, problem, or comment regarding the Web content and IRS programs. The Help Desk answers most inquiries received from the public within 24 hours.

  3. When an inquiry reaches the Help Desk, KRM checks it against a repository of known issues, e.g., pre-recorded (pre-determined) responses and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). KRM escalates inquiries the Help Desk cannot address to the W&I IRS.gov POC.

  4. If the inquiry falls within W&I’s purview, then KRM sends it to the W&I POC assigned to respond to Help Desk emails.


    KRM forwards tax account-related inquiries that require interpretation of tax laws and procedures to the appropriate IRS function for response.

    1. The POC determines which subject-matter expert (SME) within W&I would be the most appropriate party to answer the questions and designates a response timeframe

    2. The Help Desk determines the priority and designates a response timeframe

    3. The W&I POC forwards the email to the identified SME for response

    4. The SME answers the inquiry and sends an e-mail back to the POC, who formats the response and sends it to the Help Desk with a copy to the W&I organization mailbox

    5. The W&I POC keeps a copy of the e-mail in the personal folder

Alternative Media Center (AMC)

  1. The AMC provides alternative media resources to IRS employees and taxpayers through publishing support for format selection, acquisition, production, and dissemination of IRS products required in accessible file formats.

Alternative Media Center (AMC) Products

  1. The AMC offers more than 1,800 alternative media formats of IRS published products. The items produced are a combination of public-facing and non-public-facing products.


    Non-public products include all items listed in public products.

    Public Products

    Product Type Formats Available
    Tax Forms Braille, e-Braille, large print, Section 508 compliant PDF and text
    Tax Instructions Accessible HTML, Braille, eBraille, e-Pub, large print and text
    Tax Publications Accessible HTML, Braille, e-Braille, e-Pub, large print and text
    Taxpayer Notices (External) Audio, Braille, eBraille, large print and text

    Non-Public Products

    Product Type Formats Available
    Documents Accessible HTML, Braille, e-Braille, large print, Section 508 compliant PDF and Text
    Internal Forms Braille, e-Braille, large print, Section 508 compliant PDF and text
    Letters Braille, e-Braille, large print, Section 508 compliant PDF and text
    Notices (internal) Braille, e-Braille, large print, Section 508 compliant PDF and text
    Training Publications Accessible HTML, Braille, e-Braille, large print, Section 508 compliant PDF and text
    The AMC is producing Braille and large print in the top five foreign languages to assist non-English speaking taxpayers fulfill their tax obligations. In the future, addition languages may be provided.
    Alternative Media Format Languages
    Braille, text, accessible HTML and audio
    • English

    • Spanish

    Large Print and Section 508 compliant PDF forms
    • English

    • Spanish

    • Chinese - Traditional

    • Chinese - Simplified

    • Russian

    • Korean

    • Vietnamese

  2. Staff produces alternative media products in both electronic and hard copy formats through:

    Alternative Media Products

    Product Type Products
    Government Publishing Office (GPO) Contracts
    • Program 106-S: Large Print Product

    • Program 1561-S: Section 508 Compliant PDF Files

    • Program 1582-S: Accessible Electronic Media and Document Accessibility Support

    • Program 3571-S: Braille Products

    • Program 3591-S: Braille Products (Ability One Program)

    IRS-owned production facility The AMC operates a production facility using high-speed embossers and printers to process Braille and large print orders. The facility is an on-demand operation that serves employees and taxpayers. In addition, AMC employees perform file management for these formats on multiple systems and applications including Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE), Account Management Services (AMS) and the Electronic Status Notice (ESN) to ensure uninterrupted distribution of accessible media through mainstream channels
    Conversion Tools AMC employees use conversion and transcription software to produce Braille, audio, text, and large print files. Remediation software is used to make PDF files comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  3. AMC products can be ordered by employees and taxpayers.

    Products Available to Employees and Taxpayers

    Who can order... How to order...
    • Download accessible media from the Product Catalog Information page at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catlg.html

    • Visit the Order page at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/order.html on the AMC intranet site

    • Contact the AMC Helpdesk at altmc@irs.gov

    • Use the Order and Subscription anagement System (OSMS) at https://caps-as.enterprise.irs.gov/osms/views/homePage.xhtml

    • Order Braille and large print tax products through the AMC annual survey

    • Notices in alternative formats.

      1. The IRS process for receiving notices allows visually impaired taxpayers to request post-filing tax correspondence in Braille, large print, audio (mp3) or electronic formats. This includes notices about additional taxes or penalties owed.

      2. Taxpayers with a print disability can elect to receive IRS correspondence in their preferred alternative format by completing Form 9000, Alternative Media Preference, and filing it with their tax return, or by mailing it separately to the following address:

      Department of the Treasury

      Internal Revenue Service

      Kansas City, MO 64999-0002

    • Download accessible tax products from the Accessibility pages at https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/accessible-irs-tax-products on IRS.gov

    • Request paper copies of Braille or large print tax products by calling the tax form toll-free telephone number at 800-829-3676

    • Notices in alternative formats

      1. The IRS process for receiving notices allows visually impaired taxpayers to request post-filing tax correspondence in Braille, large print, audio (mp3) or electronic formats. This includes notices about additional taxes or penalties owed.

      2. Taxpayers with a print disability can elect to receive IRS correspondence in their preferred alternative format by completing Form 9000, Alternative Media Preference, and filing it with their tax return, or by mailing it separately to the following address:

        Department of the Treasury

        Internal Revenue Service

        Kansas City, MO 64999-0002

  4. AMC products are delivered based on the following turnaround times.

    AMC Deliverable Schedule

    Product Deliverable Timeframe
    Braille and large print products (in production facility are embossed/printed ) 7 to 10 business days
    Electronic files Immediate download
    Products Requiring Conversion  
    • Accessible HTML

    • Accessible MS Office files

    • Braille and e-Braille

    • Section 508 compliant PDF

    • Text

    • Large Print

    • 4 to 6 weeks

    • up to 10 business days

    • 4 to 6 weeks

    • up to 10 business days

    • 2 to 4 weeks

    • up to 10 business days

AMC Services

  1. The AMC provides the following services:

    1. Accessibility Help Line - IRS established an Accessibility Helpline to answer questions related to current and future accessibility services and tax information in alternative media formats (i.e. Braille, large print, audio, etc.) available to taxpayers with print disabilities. Taxpayers who need accessibility assistance can call 833-690-0598. Assistance for multilingual taxpayers is also available on the helpline via the Over-the-Phone Interpreter service. The new helpline does not have access to taxpayers’ IRS accounts. Those needing help with tax law, refunds or other account-related issues, should visit the Let Us Help You page

    2. Customized accessibility solutions - The AMC works one-on-one with customers to meet their individual accessibility needs

    3. Document Accessibility consulting - The AMC works with employees to ensure their electronic content is accessible by people with disabilities and meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508 standards

    4. Helpdesk services - The AMC Helpdesk staff is available to assist employees Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM ET by e-mail at altmc@irs.gov. Employees can place orders for alternative media, inquire about the status of orders or get technical support for making electronic content accessible. All incoming requests are assigned a ticket number and placed in a contact management database for tracking purposes

    5. Review and remediation for Section 508 compliance - The AMC can make PDF files accessible for people using assistive technology and can review and add accessibility to Microsoft Office files including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The AMC works with employees to review and remediate electronic content to meet the requirements in the WCAG and Section 508 standards

    6. Training and tutorials - The AMC provides HowTube videos and training tools for authors in the Learn section on the AMC intranet site at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/. IRS employees can also take the following courses in the AMC Section 508 curriculum on the Integrated Talent Management platform

      AMC Section Curriculum

      The 508 Course Curriculum
      • 70100 - Introduction to Section 508 Curriculum

      • 70101 - Techniques for Creating Section 508 Compliant MS Word File

      • 70102 - Techniques for Creating Section 508 Compliant MS Excel Files

      • 70103 - Techniques for Creating Section 508 Compliant MS PowerPoint Files

      • 70104 - Techniques for Creating Section 508 Compliant PDFs using Adobe Acrobat - Basic

      • 70105 - Techniques for Creating Section 508 Compliant PDFs using Adobe Acrobat - Advanced

      • 70106 - Writing Alternative Text for Section 508 Compliance

      • 70107 - Using CommonLook PDF to Create Section 508 Compliant PDF files

      • 70110 – Providing Alternative Media for Taxpayers with Disabilities


    7. Web Services - IRS employees can visit the AMC intranet site at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/ to request services, order alternative media and learn about the latest accessibility requirements, including tools to make electronic content compliant with Section 508.

      Accessible Formats

      The Accessibility pages at https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/accessible-irs-tax-products on IRS.gov provide taxpayers with accessible tax products in the following formats:
      • Section 508-compliant PDF files

      • Braille (e-Braille) and text tax forms, instructions and publications

      • Large print forms, instructions and publications

      • HTML format for tax instructions and publications

      • e-Pub format to view tax products on mobile devices


  2. IRS employees can request these services using the following methods:

    1. Visit the Request Section at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/request.html on the AMC intranet site

    2. Contact by email the AMC Helpdesk at altmc@irs.gov.

Accessible taxpayer notices and letters

  1. Taxpayers can complete Form 9000, Alternative Media Preference PDF, to choose to receive their IRS tax notices in Braille, large print, audio or electronic formats. This includes notices about additional taxes or penalties owed. Taxpayers can include the completed form with their tax return, call 800- 829-1040, or mail it as a standalone form to the IRS at the Address below to request their preferred format.

    Department of the Treasury - Internal Revenue Service - Kansas City, MO 64999-0002

  2. If the taxpayer already received a notice or letter in print format and prefers it in Braille, large print, audio or text, choose one of the three options below to request your preference.

    1. The taxpayer can call the tax assistance number at 800-829-1040

    2. The taxpayer or Customer Service Representative can fax the notice and a cover sheet to: Alternative Media Center, at 855-473-2006. On the cover sheet, write "Alternative Media Format" at the top and include taxpayer's name, address, daytime phone number and preferred alternative media format

    3. The taxpayer can mail their notice with a note stating their preferred format (Braille, large print, audio or text) to: Internal Revenue Service, Alternative Media Center, 400 N. 8th St. Room G39, Richmond, VA 23219

  3. Once the AMC receives your notice it will take up to 15 business days to convert it to your preferred format and mail it back to you.

AMC Marketing and Collaboration

  1. The AMC uses a variety of marketing and communication strategies to perform outreach, promote accessible tax products and develop partnerships with disability organizations to better understand taxpayer preferences.

  2. Utilizing social media allows the AMC to provide continuous information to taxpayers about the accessible tax products available on IRS.gov.

  3. Building relationships with advocacy groups who support people with disabilities and the aging population keeps us informed of their needs and allows us to share information.